Thoughts on the Amarillo College “No Excuses” Program

Amarillo College’s “No Excuses” program could become a model replicated across the country. This practice of “embracing the students you have” is one that we should all support. Let’s ditch the “bootstraps” philosophy and stop ignoring the real-life issues preventing students (especially those from at-risk and underrepresented populations) from completing degrees. Apparently, Amarillo’s completion rates have improved significantly.

There’s a great article about the program in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. I’ve included a video below. I’m going to use it my classes as a critical thinking activity to get my students thinking about poverty-based obstacles to student success and ways to use resources we offer here at EKU.

Travis L. MartinPhD, is founding director of the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has established several nationally recognized programs to support returning veterans in higher education and the non-profit sector. A scholar of American literature, psychoanalytic trauma theory, and social theory, Dr. Martin presents frequently at conferences and universities. He has published dozens of research articles and creative short works on veterans’ issues. A former sergeant in the U.S. Army, he served during two deployments in the Iraq War (2003-04 & 2005). His book War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post-9/11 Generation is slated for publication with the University Press of Kentucky in 2022. He resides in Richmond, KY.